Microsoft has admitted that it has too many operating systems and will no longer offer Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows RT.
Speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference, Microsoft spoke about the effective failure of its cut-down Windows RT operating system. Windows is available on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. See also: Is Windows RT dead?
Julie Larson-Green, EVP of Devices for Microsoft, said: "We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three. We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility. So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path."
Larson-Green admitted that the concept of Windows RT wasn't explained to consumers very well. It was an attempt to give a simplistic but productive 'turnkey' experience similar to the way Apple presents iOS on the iPad.
"So the goal was to deliver two kinds of experiences into the market, the full power of your Windows PC, and the simplicity of a tablet experience that can also be productive."
"I think we didn't explain that super-well. I think we didn't differentiate the devices well enough. They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn't do everything that you expected Windows to do."
She continued to say that Microsoft shouldn't have even called it Windows and said that going forward the firm will differentiate it more. There's been a lot of talk about 'rebranding'.
It's unclear exactly what the strategy going forward is. The most likely options are for Microsoft to completely ditch Windows RT, or to merge it with Windows Phone.
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